The holiest of relics?

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 “Woodstock” Fender Stratocaster IT’S an eerie experience, quite unsettling in fact, to stand in the middle of this cavernous, futuristic hall in Seattle and gaze down upon a rare and precious holy relic, literally close enough to touch. A mere six inches of air and half an inch of (presumably armoured) PerspexContinue reading “The holiest of relics?”

Adventures of a much-travelled “‘burst”…

Peter Green’s 1959 “Lemon Drop” Gibson Les Paul I WAS in the middle of writing about Rick Richards’ Dan Armstong Plexi when I heard Peter Green had died…My first thought – beyond obvious sadness at the passing of such a great musician and a fine and interesting human being – was that I should abandonContinue reading “Adventures of a much-travelled “‘burst”…”

A Clear Favourite…

Rick Richards’ 1973 Dan Armstrong Plexiglass Guitar THE music I love often seems to arrive from slightly unexpected directions – a case in point being my love of the world’s greatest bar-band, bar none, The Georgia Satellites, which started one fine spring day in, of all places, a distinctly unrock’n’roll little town on the SuffolkContinue reading “A Clear Favourite…”

Stevie’s Pride and Joy…

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Number One” 1959/61/62 Fender Stratocaster 1989 was a big year in my guitar obsessive ‘s timeline.  It was the year I found another compelling reason to buy a Stratocaster… and the year I actually bought one.I’m a bit ashamed to say I came so very late to music of the brilliant andContinue reading “Stevie’s Pride and Joy…”

Touched by the hand of “God”…

Eric Clapton’s “Beano” Album Gibson Les Paul Standard AS claims to legendary status go, the story of Clapton’s “Beano Burst” Les Paul puts it right up there with the best of them. Right up there…The instrument Clapton played on “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton” (aka “the Beano album”) is credited with setting a benchmarkContinue reading “Touched by the hand of “God”…”

Howlin’ Over The Fretboard

Howlin’ Wolf’s Sunburst Gibson Firebird V CHESTER Arthur Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin’ Wolf, was the biggest, baddest, scariest bluesman ever to stalk a stage. OK, so that’s just what I think – but what are blogs all about if it’s not opinions?Down the years, those of us who love the blues have seen an enormous castContinue reading “Howlin’ Over The Fretboard”

Musings on Muddy…

“The Hoss” – Muddy Waters’ red 57 Telecaster MUDDY Waters was an inspired and inspirational performer, a magical entertainer with a sparkle in his eye, a laugh in his voice and that rare, indefinable quality, stage presence. He was also a true musical pioneer.The 1940s and 50s witnessed a huge exodus from the American South,Continue reading “Musings on Muddy…”

In Robert Johnson’s Shoes…

Robert Johnson’s Gibson Kalamazoo KG-14 ROBERT Johnson is often called the King of the Delta Blues Musicians. Not everyone agrees (Elijah Wald’s “Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues” is an particularly fascinating and  challenging read on this.) Nevertheless, many regard him as the wellspring from which flowed much of whatContinue reading “In Robert Johnson’s Shoes…”

That Special Bond…

ALL musical instruments are special. The truth, however, is what is truly special about them is the thing that happens when a human being uses that instrument to express themselves, to share something from within themselves, something that excites a strong emotion – joy, anger, sorrow.To me, there is no instrument quite so special asContinue reading “That Special Bond…”

52 Guitars in…So What Next?

NOT long after the start of the great 2020  coronavirus lockdown, I decided to keep myself amused by writing the “43 Guitars…and Counting!” blog, initially on Facebook, and later, in expanded, updated form, on WordPress.The idea was to list every single guitar I’d owned since 1978 – but also to tell their stories and explainContinue reading “52 Guitars in…So What Next?”

When less is more…

56. Pt 1 – Esquires and the allure of the single-pickup guitar. THE more I looked at pictures of classic Esquires, Les Paul Juniors – and above all, the super-cool Gibson Firebird I – the more I found myself coming round to the idea there was definitely something irresistibly  desirable about the elegant simplicity ofContinue reading “When less is more…”

The lowdown on baritones…

55. Tim Aves 28”-scale Telemaster Baritone THERE was a time, not so long ago, when it seemed wherever you looked, you would see baritone guitars. The increased visibility of these instruments – like ordinary six-strings, but with a longer-than-usual scale, more heavily strung and tuned a good bit lower – is down to two things,Continue reading “The lowdown on baritones…”

A genuine Revelation…

54. Revelation RJT60-12 Electric 12-string I’VE been on the lookout for an electric 12-string for our studio, Rooks Yard for some time now. Aside from playing the jangly bits in “Stairway to Heaven” and sundry Byrds and Beatles tunes, 12-strings are incredibly useful in the studio for all sorts of semi-hidden jobs, such as thickeningContinue reading “A genuine Revelation…”

Studio Guitars Pt2 – One More Bass

52. SX “Fecker Jizz Bass“ THIS blog started with basses, so it seems apt that my current tally of all the guitars I’ve owed over the past 40-odd years should end with a bass, too – albeit one I’ve never actually played in anger. I’ve lost count of the number of recordings sessions I’ve workedContinue reading “Studio Guitars Pt2 – One More Bass”

Studio guitars Pt 1

51. Aria AW35 12-string acoustic HARDLY the most exciting or desirable of guitars, but as this list finally winds towards a conclusion, it’s certainly worthy of inclusion. Both this instrument and the one which follows are mine, thoughI didn’t buy them to play myself (but of course, I have!)This cheap and cheerful Aria 12-string acousticContinue reading “Studio guitars Pt 1”

The Last Guitar I’ll Ever Bring Home?

50. 1976 Greco “Lawsuit” Les Paul IT’S a strange thing, you know. The older I’ve grown, the more I’ve come to enjoy playing Les Pauls. For years and years, I just didn’t get on with them, for a variety of reasons – the weight, the thick sound of those humbuckers, the shorter scale length, theContinue reading “The Last Guitar I’ll Ever Bring Home?”

Seduced by a National…

49. National Resophonic “Black Rust” Duolian 12-fret I FELL in love with this guitar last summer as I sat outside a cafe, just around the corner from Modena Cathedral drinking a rather fine Italian latte (as you do). I was waiting for my girlfriend to return from an adventure in a nearby clothes shop andContinue reading “Seduced by a National…”

A Very Special Strat…

48. OTB Custom Guitars Sherwood Green Strat QUITE simply the best guitar I’ve ever played. And it’s mine.It’s a bit of a gamble when you commission a custom guitar from scratch (not that it’s something I’d ever done before). The principle is much the same as when you put one together yourself, though. You canContinue reading “A Very Special Strat…”

An Offset Flirtation…

47. Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster FUNNY, really. Considering what a Fender nut I am, I’d managed to steer clear of the company’s offset-bodied twins, the Jazzmaster and the short-scale Jaguar for the majority of my love affair with brand “F”. I’d literally never so much as picked one up and strummed a single chord, soContinue reading “An Offset Flirtation…”

Two more Squiers from Indonesia…

39. Squier Tele Custom w/P90s THIS guitar caught my eye on eBay after my pal Dave Werewolf bought one of these for himself in 2010 and I sort of fell in love with it. It was a relatively brief infatuation, however.Made in the same Indonesian factory as my favourite Squier 51s, these Teles are fantasticContinue reading “Two more Squiers from Indonesia…”

One For Greeny…Almost a Les Paul Pt1

37. Vintage “Lemon Drop” Les Paul copy THIS rather attractive Les Paul copy turned out to be a real surprise – of the pleasant variety. I bought it from a mate on a whim. Then I became really quite attached to it and it ended up seeing me through some of very important years ofContinue reading “One For Greeny…Almost a Les Paul Pt1”